On October 2nd Debra Brunner set off from London and Artur Livshyts from Minsk both heading for the AEPJ annual heritage conference, this year in Bucharest, Romania.
The Together Plan is now a member of the AEPJ and their official partner in Belarus. The conference enabled Debra and Artur to meet and interact with representatives developing trails in other countries. They attended workshops run by members of the AEPJ Scientific Committee; Jeremy Leigh Coordinator of the Richard J Scheuer Israel Seminar HUC-JIR/Jerusalem, and Professor Yoel Mansfeld, PhD. Founder and former Head, Center for Tourism, Pilgrimage & Recreation Research, Master Program on Tourism Planning & Development, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Haifa.
Our remit now is the building of a Jewish heritage trail in Belarus. Jewish people in Belarus want to talk about their history, they want to try to understand it and for them, it is hampered and fractured. In parts of the country, religion was banned during communism and so people stopped practicing. During the Holocaust between 1941 and 43, 800,000 Jews were murdered in the country, mostly by bullets. It is a piece of history that most of the world doesn’t know or talk about. Between the interwar years, brutal pogroms were taking place. The history is large and dark, peppered with extraordinary stories. Belarus also gave rise to exceptional personalities; Marc Chagall, the founding fathers of Israel, the Soloveitchik Rabbinic Dynasty, the unsung Jewish artists who gave rise to the Bauhaus movement that changed the world of art and architecture forever, and so many more. Join us as the journey of discovery begins.